I would like to personally thank The Sun's editorial board for providing the questionnaire responses of candidates for the primary election. I particularly would like to reference those provided by Tony Campbell, a Republican running for Baltimore County executive.
Mr. Campbell has acknowledged growing up in western Pennsylvania and graduating from Blackhawk High School and the University of Pittsburgh. His roots are as a Pennsylvania Democrat.
I found his answer regarding the creation of additional council districts to be ambiguous. He appears unaware that the county charter was established in 1956 and that the results of the 2000 U.S. census were instrumental in creating the first minority district, Council District Four, representing Reisterstown, Owings Mills, Randallstown, Woodlawn and Woodbine. One would certainly expect someone running to represent Baltimore County to be slightly more knowledgeable.
The two additional council districts Mr. Campbell proposes cannot be implemented by the county executive and would require council approval or a referendum for a Charter amendment. He further proposes that the new districts could be implemented at no cost through reductions in existing County Council salaries and staff. It is extremely unlikely that the County Council will vote to support this proposal which some project will cost county taxpayers almost a half-million dollars per year.
While touting political experience as a former chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee, Mr. Campbell neglects to acknowledge his short-lived career. After but a mere nine months, he received a letter from the committee members citing "no confidence," a "divisive, lackluster style," as well as a "failure to get involved in issues" as reasons he should consider resigning, which ultimately he did. He was also accused of misrepresentation when making statements on behalf of the committee with regard to redistricting. Central Committee member Hillary Pennington was quoted as telling Mr. Campbell, "You would not stand up and take responsibility. … That's not a leader."
How is it that someone who could not bring unity to a 28-member organization can be trusted to bring unity to a county of over 800,000 or establish productive relationships with members of the County Council and the delegation in Annapolis?
Mr. Campbell's limited knowledge continues to amaze as he proposes removing all speed cameras located outside school districts. I challenge him to identify such locations. There are none in Baltimore County. The Maryland General Assembly has given limited authorization allowing "localities to decide whether to use the cameras in school zones." State legislation is specifically limited to school and work zones.
While Mr. Campbell's resume reads well, I find it interesting that he omits one of his major victories. The missing key element was his success in leading the Maryland Republicans for Obama campaign in 2008. That accomplishment has led to a two-term president who has failed to win the support of most Republicans.
I believe a fair evaluation of Mr. Campbell's qualifications would be that this Pennsylvania Democrat carpet-bagger turned Republican does not represent Baltimore County values.
He was unable to provide unity within the limited membership of the Republican Central Committee. As a Republican who provided support to the Obama campaign, along with his reelection effort, his Republican credentials are uncertain. And, oh yes, he has previously embellished his work experience by claiming to be a "professor" while in actuality being an "adjunct professor" or part-time instructor for Towson University.
Is this the reflection of a true Republican candidate? Does he truly portray the essence of the Republican philosophy? In my humble opinion, the answer is an emphatic no.
Karen Henley, Oliver Beach
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